Police launch hunt for 'racist' Chelsea fan
November 1, 2012 -- Updated 1831 GMT (0231 HKT)
Manchester United's Danny Welbeck, right, appeared to be the target of alleged racist abuse during his side's defeat at Chelsea.
- Police launch investigation into allegations of "racist gesture" by Chelsea supporter
- Supporter photographed in British national newspaper making alleged gesture
- Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck appeared to be the target of alleged abuse
- Chelsea promise to "take the strongest possible action, including criminal prosecution"
(CNN) -- English football's battle to eradicate racism suffered another blow on Thursday as police launched an investigation into allegations that a Chelsea supporter made a racist gesture towards a Manchester United player.
A photo of the fan making a "monkey" action, which appeared to be targeted at United's Danny Welbeck during a League Cup match that Chelsea won 5-4, was published in a British newspaper Thursday
Chelsea has launched its own investigation into the matter and has already promised to assist the police in any way possible.
A statement from the Metropolitan Police read: "Today, Thursday, November 1, police have received a complaint regarding alleged racist behavior at Stamford Bridge last night, Wednesday, October 31.
"An investigation has been launched. There have been no arrests and enquiries continue."
England midfielder Danny Rose claims he was subjected to monkey chants before, during and after the second-leg of their Under-21 Euro 2013 playoff match against Serbia on Tuesday, and had stones thrown at him by the crowd in Krusevac. Fans also ran on to the pitch and scuffles broke out after a 1-0 win secured England qualification for Euro 2013.
Soccer racism in Eastern Europe
It is now nearly a year since Chelsea lost to QPR 1-0 in an English Premier League game at Loftus Road. During the game it was alleged QPR defender Anton Ferdinand swore at John Terry and made reference to the Chelsea captain's reported affair with the ex-partner of former team-mate Wayne Bridge. Terry is then said to have described Ferdinand as a "f***ing black c***".
Crime and Punishment in sport
Walter Tull became the first black outfield player to play in the English top flight when he signed for Tottenham Hotspur in 1909. Tull was the subject of racist abuse, with one particular match against Bristol City leading to Tottenham selling him to Northampton Town.
Walter Tull: Black footballing pioneer
The incident follows Chelsea's claim that a referee made racial comments to one of the club's players during Sunday's 3-2 home defeat by United -- a controversial match in which the Premier League-leading team had two men sent off.
Chelsea lodge Clattenburg complaint
On Wednesday, Chelsea confirmed it had lodged a formal complaint with the Football Association after alleging that official Mark Clattenburg had used "inappropriate language towards John Obi Mikel.
Now the club has stated that it will take "the strongest possible action" against the supporter involved in Wednesday's incident.
"Chelsea Football Club can confirm we are investigating an incident involving a member of the crowd at last night's game against Manchester United," a spokesman said.
"The club will be examining all available footage and asks anyone who can identify the individual to contact the club.
"Chelsea FC is committed to removing all forms of discrimination and if we have sufficient evidence we will take the strongest possible action, including supporting criminal prosecution."
Police to investigate 'racist' referee in Chelsea case
Chelsea banned a supporter for life in March after finding them guilty of racially abusing the club's former striker Didier Drogba.
Club captain John Terry is currently serving a four-match domestic suspension after the FA found him guilty of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand despite the former England international having been earlier cleared in court.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.